Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nightstand Deals

Our new bed set only included a bed and dresser.  So we set out to find a good deal.  Okay, a great deal on our nightstand.  Jeremy is great at bargains.  All began when he got a $2 chicken for $1 on our way home on Christmas Day from Killeen.  Every since then, he's all about the deals.  So here's how Jeremy, bargainer and research professor extraordinaire, did it:

1 - Pulled up every available website with the color of wood and style that we liked.
2 - Looked at each one.
3 - Found a closeout deal on a really great bedside table (originally $500 - was on sale for $173)
4 - Went to purchase it, and found they were out of stock
5 - Wife said "Hey!  What about the chests?  They could give us more drawer space and while a little large, would be great for nightstands."
6 - Jeremy said "Awesome!"
7 - So they were purchased..... and the deal was:

Linden Street Chests
Top drawers velvet lined
Bottom drawer cedar lined
Cherry Wood and veneers

Original price $790
Our price $199
Plus free shipping which saved an extra $234!!

And we get to pick them up tomorrow - woo hoo!

Party On!

Julia is now one!  It went so fast.  She's now teetering around the house.  Not quite walking.  Not quite not-walking.  She's really made some dramatic changes this year and is proving herself to be a worthy opponent with Riley in personality.

Some noticable differences this year:

1 week old - could barely get out a cry and had the softest cry of any baby I have ever heard
1 year old - screams incredibly loud.  Wakes Riley up in the middle of the night.  Will have screaming wars with Riley to see who yells loudest (seriously - I have this on tape!).

6 months old - can sit up
1 year old - is really working on walking.  Goes about 10-15 steps and then falls.  Sometimes more, sometimes less.

8 months old - makes sounds
1 year old - talks.  a lot.  Jeremy said "Hi Jules!"  She responded with "Hi Da-da!"  Clear as day.  This morning, as I dropped her off at Kami's house, she looked at me, waved and said "Buh - bye!"  Again, clear as day.  She loves to say "ai-ai" (Ry-ry).  Think that will be one of her favorite words :)

1 week old - loves her bottle
1 year old - loves her bottle.  In fact, she hates cups.  I put her formula in a cup and she crossed her arms, screamed, and pushed it away.  I left the room (she was strapped in!) and came back quickly.  Saw her look to see if I was gone, drank from the cup.  As soon as I got back, she saw me and I said "Good job Jules!"  She threw the cup out of her mouth, crossed her arms again and screamed.  So I don't compliment her anymore.  :)  Just kidding.

1 day old - smiling.  Well, okay, squinting and not able to see much of anything.  But she was happy!
1 year old - smiling always.  Probably the happiest girl I've ever met.

So Happy Birthday Sweet Jules!!!  You're amazing!

What a wonderful world

So teachers everywhere are losing their jobs.  (no, this is not the part that makes the world so wonderful)  And while I am trying to trust that God has always taken care of me and will always take care of me, there is a part of me that is somewhat nervous about the gloom and doom reports.  After 223 teachers were pink slipped in a local district yesterday - one that is five minutes from my home - I began to really think about my job.

Sometimes my job is just tiring.  There are days when I can hardly wake myself up to get ready for working with 140+ students.  Especially when being woken up by our child (or children) in the middle of the night and only taken what should be considered a "nap" as opposed to a night of sleep.  And days when I just miss my girls like crazy and wish I was the one feeding them, playing with them and going to the park.

Then there are days when I just want to stay in my pj's and watch a movie with Riley while Julia naps.  Or not have to plan lessons and wake up in the middle of the night thinking about the best way to explain how to hold a half note or read a four beat measure.  Or think of how to deal with students who don't want to learn the information at all.

And of course, I think about the benefits of having health insurance, savings, mortgage payments and how we would figure our budget out without my income.  And how we could scrimp when we're already fairly frugal and do our best to make wise decisions in every area.  And how many other jobs I could take on to make it work.

But today none of these thoughts crossed my mind.  The thing I thought of most were the children I had in front of me in each class.  How I could make their lives better.  How I could say something positive that would make them smile and give me a hug.  How they call my name when I open their car door in the morning and wave to me.  How a student who is having a tough time at home calls me "Mom" and asks if they can live with me.  Where would these kids be without me to help them?  Who will these kids go to if there are more of them and less of us?

It really struck me how great my job is when my first grade students were singing the song "What a Wonderful World."  They'll be performing it for the PTA meeting in a few weeks.  And their voices are sweet, their hearts were in it and several of them could hardly make it through without crying.  And I was truly thankful for my job today.  Thankful to be where I am.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Score!

I love a real bargain!  My mom would be so proud :)  As she loves shopping and bargain hunting as well and showed me how to do it as I was growing up.  I can remember her shopping at Lord & Taylor, finding an item she wanted to keep her eye on, hiding it in a different rack of clothing (shhh - don't tell) and then going back there every Saturday for several weeks until it was at least 75% off the regular price.  I've taken her lessons to heart (except the hiding part.... sometimes ;) and scored some great deals).

Being on Spring Break is an amazing thing!  My husband says that I need to work just so I can support my shopping habits when I'm on break.  Which would definitely be true of our shopping the last few days.  Though we're both thrilled with the outcome of the items we just purchased - most which were necessities anyway.

So here are my deals from this week :

JCPenney - had a $15 coupon off of a $15 purchase.  Found Riley a cute dress for $19.99 which was originally $45.  Total was $14.99 plus tax.

Gymboree - found four items that will work great for Riley in the fall:  a jean skirt with daisies on it, jeans with no embroidery - can be worn with anything, a solid brown turtleneck and a new pair of pjs.  Items were well discounted, had 30% off and I had an additional 20% off coupon.  Jeans were originally $28.75.  I paid $3.91.  Turtleneck was originally $14.  I paid $2.23.  Pjs were normally $24.  I paid $7.83.  And the skirt was originally $26.  I paid $6.73.  Total was $20.70 instead of $92.

Ann Taylor Loft - purchased three items.  Entire store was 30% off.  Two sweaters - originally $69.50 and $59.50.  Each one was only $3.42!  Cute tanktop was $24.  (I splurged a little as it's a work style one and was still $16 off)  Total was $32 instead of $169.50!

Weir's - Jeremy and I decided on a whim to go look at bedroom furniture today at Weir's.  We've had our eye on a bedroom set at Haverty's which is gorgeous, but also costs a lot.  We saw a gorgeous King bed and dresser set that was on the main floor.  Dark woods, very tall and oversized headboard, beautiful footboard with lots of detail.  Dresser was oversized and gorgeous as well (have I mentioned the word gorgeous?).  Originally the dresser was $1799 and the bed was $1799.  They discounted it because they don't have the matching chest or nightstands.  So they were each $499!!  So we ditched the Haverty's idea and spent the $1000.  And it arrives on Thursday!  We're especially excited because we've lived with a king mattress, Target bookshelves for nightstands and a large broken dresser for several years.  We're extremely excited.  Total was $1100 including tax and delivery.  Originally would have been $3600!

Total spent:  $1205
Total if purchased with original prices:  $3939
Total saved:  $2739

So if I had any bargain shopping advice it would be:

1 - Use coupons and use them wisely.
2 - If it's not on sale, don't even think of buying it.  It will go on sale and most of the time, there is no reason to buy it unless it is under 50% off.
3 - Bargain shopping is a total blast if you're patient enough to wait for a good deal.
4 - Shop the sales racks before looking at the new items.  Your perspective on things will change.
5 - Be willing to get a different color or try something completely new.  It will pay and you will save!